Overcoming obstacles to setting up office-based ultrasound for evaluation of thyroid and parathyroid diseases


  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.


Ultrasound is an integral part of the preoperative workup for patients who are being evaluated for thyroid and parathyroid surgery. It helps improve the accuracy of a fine-needle aspiration biopsy and complements other imaging modalities used for planning the extent of surgery. It also allows imaging of vital structures in relation to the thyroid and parathyroid. The compact nature and portability of ultrasound machines in recent years has made it easier for motivated surgeons (head and neck, general, and endocrine surgeons) to incorporate them into their practice. However, successfully setting up such a service needs adequate planning and an understanding of the obstacles that are involved. We aim to discuss these obstacles in detail, with practical suggestions on how to overcome them. This review may serve as a resource when dealing with issues such as purchasing equipment, training, credentialing, billing, documentation, and collaboration. Although these are discussed with respect to surgeons with an interest in endocrine disease, with some modifications they may also apply to any surgeon who uses ultrasound frequently. Laryngoscope, 2011